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Domestic Partnership Act

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Definition of Spouse

What is The Definition of Spouse?

You might remember when your father referred to your mother as “the little woman” or “the wife” – that was commonplace in years past and I really doubt that Dad would be able to identify his main squeeze using either phrase nowadays without raising some hackles.

There are many definitions that identify someone’s significant other and recent laws have caused employer benefit policies to be revamped as a result.

What is a Common Law Marriage?

Couple photo
A Couple Walking

When a couple presents themselves as husband and wife and cohabitates for a substantial period of time they can be deemed married without the issuance of a marriage license or a ceremony.  Usually the couple dwells together for at least a year and are in an agreement to become married at a later date. Every state does not recognize or permit common law marriages. However, in most cases if a couple becomes “married” by common law in another state sister states will recognize it as a marital situation.

What is the Difference Between Civil Union and Domestic Partnership?

Wedding band
Wedding Bands

It has not been very long ago that civil unions did not exist in New Jersey. Before the Domestic Partnership Act the only option for same sex couples was to create a domestic partnership, but the benefits were limited. One the NJ Domestic Partnership Act passed couples had to option to keep their status as a domestic partnership or convert it to a civil union. In order to convert to a civil union, parties can obtain a civil union license application from the local registrar’s office. When a couple enters into a civil union, the domestic partnership is automatically terminated.